Drinking Deeply

Saturday, June 18, 2005 at 6:38 PM

2 John 10-11

This is currently just my present view on this verse. Something I wondered about and have decided to share. I'm very open to other opinions and correction though. Read this yet?

2 John 10-11

If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, 11for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.

I remember one time someone mentioned that one of their friends had not invited a Mormon in for a discussion because of 2 John 10-11. This stuck with me and the first time the Mormon elders stopped by I decided to talk with them outside. Kind of weird standing outside for like an hour so afterwards I searched all over for the verse because I wanted to check the context and not add layers to my interpretations that weren't there.

Well sadly enough, I couldn't find the verse by the time they came the second day and to top it off one of my friends had come over to just hang for a bit. Since I wanted him to listen in I decided to invite them in on a more of a pragmatic reason than anything else.

Afterwards though I looked at the verse and now I think it is ok to invite Mormons in to talk about God's Word and discuss theology and the like. My reasoning and explanation as follows:

1st off: What the verse does not say. Taking the verse out of context, with "this teaching" being the gospel of Christ, it seems to say that anyone who isn't a Christian shouldn't be invited in. But this is contradictory to basically the entirety of Christian hospitality and being in the world but not of and the like.

Basically my current view is since the passage has strong words like in verse 7: "7For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist." I think the strong words as well as John's emphasis on holding fast to proper doctrine (verses 5-6) point more towards avoiding false teachers and not being led astray.

These two points coupled with the fact that it is not about distancing with the entirety of the non-Christian population lead me to believe that the passage refers to very specific false teachers. I think a very likely conclusion of this is those that have been excommunicated from the church. Thus to me, John is warning against associating with those who have been excommunicated. This sounds very similar to Paul saying to "come out from them" as well as being ready to punish their disobedience once it is separated from those that are obedient.

Joe posted a comment on my previous post about this and said:
Thanks for posting about what happened. I have invited LDS into my home on many occasions, to witness to them after they knock on my door, or I invite them back. I tend to think 2 John 10-11 applies to a church setting, like a home church in the first century, and applies to teaching. Like allowing those LDS missionaries to teach at your church, or home church. I may be wrong on that, so I am open to correction. I would assert, though, that 2 John 10-11 does not prohibit having LDS enter your physical home to dialog with them about God?s Word. God is sovereign, this is His world, what?s the difference between the doorstep and the couch? Again, I would argue that passage has to do with teaching in a home church and not about where the actual apologetic conversation takes place.

1st off. I think it's an excellent point about the difference between the doorstep and the couch. One that I had not thought about. I agree with it. The point is not about a physical house or a couch, but what we are doing with them (or not doing with them). Thank you

2ndly: I think our conclusions are the same, though I do feel like I disagree slightly in believing that it doesn't necessarily speak to inviting false teachers to preach at a home church or at church. I don't think that fits in with the passage because John here is writing a personal letter to a mother of children (verse 1) and not to church elders (who presumably would have the authority to decide who to teach and who not to). The elect lady (in light of the qualifications for elders) is not necessarily in a position to choose who to teach and who not to and thus I don't believe this is referring specifically to having false teachers teach at a church or home church. (though this of course should be qualified by the fact that if there is false teaching going on, everyone, young old, male female, should speak up)

In short, I am still open to correction about this, but I don't believe that 2 John 10-11 applies to the case of inviting LDS missionaries into one's house but instead applies to associating with those who have been excommunicated from the church. I believe that the verse speaks out against having anything to do at all with those who have been cast out of the church on a voluntary basis (legal obligations are still binding).

After thinking this through and talking with my friend who was present there, we got on the topic of how the church loves those who have left the church, either a voluntary leaving or an excommunication (two very different things!). I thought that discussion was interesting and enlightening (and would like to hear corrections on my views) so I will post about it tomorrow.

Thoughts comments suggestions very welcome.

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Blogger Frank Martens said...


Here's the Strongs Greek Definition of "receives"...


A prolonged form of a primary verb, which is used only as an alternate in certain tenses; to take (in very many applications, literally and figuratively [probably objective or active, to get hold of; whereas G1209 is rather subjective or passive, to have offered to one; while G138 is more violent, to seize or remove]): - accept, + be amazed, assay, attain, bring, X when I call, catch, come on (X unto), + forget, have, hold, obtain, receive (X after), take (away, up).

Kind of interesting! I think what this passage is saying, to not "accept" his theology into your home. In other words, don't agree/participate/support with him on his theology if it contradicts scripture.

However, MacArthur (from his study Bible) says this...
John's prohibition is not a case of entertaining people who disagree on minor matters. These false teachers were carrying on a regular campaign to destroy the basic, fundamental truths of Christianity. Complete disassociation from such heretics is the only appropriate course of action for genuine believers. No benefit or aid of any time (not even a greeting) is permissible. Believers should aid only those who proclaim the truth.

I think MacArthur is saying that it's ok to discuss, but NOT OK to help/support them in any way.

In R.C. Sprouls ESV Reformation Study bible it states...
This stern measure contrasts sharply with the exhortation given in 3 John 5-8 to welcome believers who proclaim the truth.

Interesting! I have other commentaries that I can post comments about, but I hope this helps!



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